India's Yuga Cycle: Striving for Harmony

Aayreen BaagwalaApril 25, 2022Time and Space

As rightly conveyed by Esther Williams, “The wisdom acquired with the passage of time is a useless gift unless you share it.” And in my land of diversity, one of the most popular beliefs that marks the passage of time and elucidates the transition as well as the contrast between each period is the concept of yugas, as widely accepted by most Hindus of India. It was first brought to the surface through the fine written work of the Vedas and later explained by those who had successfully interpreted the message in the book.

In the yuga cycle, the first yuga was called the Satya Yuga, meaning the golden age. It lasted for 1,728,000 years and was divided into the dawn (144,000 years), the proper (1,440,000 years) and lastly the dusk (144,000 years). It is often referred to as the age of truth, since it was the closest to the ideal utopia; people involved themselves only in noble tasks and no wicked acts were committed. It is also believed that, in this time period, the only dispute was the one between Devlok and Asuralok, which are two different worlds of Good and Evil respectively.

Next came the Treta Yuga, the silver age, which had a duration of 1,296,000 years. During this era, even though there was a slight decline in spirituality and the people were divided into the intellectuals, administrators, merchants, and workers, they continued to maintain the tranquil environment and devoted themselves to achieving prosperity. The fight in this passage was between Rama and Raavana, good and evil respectively, belonging to different countries.

Then it was time for the Dwapara Yuga, the bronze age, which had a time span of 864,000 years. This is the yuga in which humans started to show a noticeable amount of lack in morals and make unethical choices, resulting in a substantial decline of selflessness. And this time, the battle was between the Pandavas and Kauravas, who belonged to the same family.

And through these previous passages of time, evil was gradually coming nearer, until it was inside of us. We had to stop ourselves and listen to our hearts so that we could reflect back and treat everyone with kindness. This allowed us to make long-lasting relationships with others and learn to forgive, which is the dire need of the hour as we could possibly be living in Kali Yuga currently. Kali Yuga, the iron age, is the fourth and last passage of time, which is said to last as long as 432,000 years. With each yuga cycle, it is believed amongst many that the goodness in people decreases by 25% as the evil increases by the same, until it transitions into its worst form during Kali Yuga, after which it is said that the yuga cycle will repeat. Kali Yuga means that the final battle of good against evil will reside within us, or probably already is, and thus the Hindu culture urges us to ensure that there is a trace of compassion, however little, in every action we take whilst advancing through these passages of time.


Vanderlinden, Luke. "Treta Yuga: A Complete Guide." Popular Vedic Science, January 19, 2021.

"What Is Yuga?" Yogapedia.

"Yuga Cycle." Wikipedia.

Aayreen Baagwala is a 14-year-old ninth grader at the Riverside School in Ahmedabad, India. Literature is her constant source of inspiration, and reading and writing take up quite some part of her days. She is inseparable from her doodle pen and earphones due to her love for music and art.